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Outcomes of Planned Organizational Change in the Public Sector: A Meta-Analytic Comparison to the Private Sector

Peter J. Robertson and Sonal J. Seneviratne
Public Administration Review
Vol. 55, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1995), pp. 547-558
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/3110346
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3110346
Page Count: 12
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Outcomes of Planned Organizational Change in the Public Sector: A Meta-Analytic Comparison to the Private Sector
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Abstract

Can planned organizational change efforts in public sector organizations be as successful as those in private organizations? Prior theory and research reflect some ambiguity regarding this question. Literature regarding traditional differences between the public and private sectors suggests that basic characteristics of public organizations may impede the success of planned change interventions. However, growing recognition of the fact that distinctions between the two sectors are becoming blurred reduces the viability of this assumption. Furthermore, prior empirical comparisons of intervention success have found that patterns of success are similar in the two types of organizations. Peter J. Robertson and Sonal J. Seneviratne address this question by using meta-analytic procedures to evaluate the impact of planned change interventions on seven categories of organization variables. Their findings suggest that, by and large, organizational change interventions are just as successful in both sectors. However, they found differences between the sectors for three variable categories, indicating that it is more difficult to implement changes in public organization work settings but that organizational performance can be improved more readily in public organizations.

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